Sutherland Hospital was a visionary concept when it was first proposed in 1942. During the following 16 years the community consolidated, lobbied the government and raised the required funds to build a major hospital they could call their own on the southern shores of the Georges River.
Construction of the Shire's major acute care public hospital finally took shape, being situated on a high point of the peninsula. On 29 April, 1950 AJ Williams turned the first sod for the new hospital. It was not until 5 September, 1955 that the foundation stone of the hospital was laid by the then Premier of NSW, JJ Cahill MLA. The foundation stone of the Nurses’ Home was laid by Andrew Gray, Chairman of the Board, on 5 September, 1955.
In 1958, Sutherland Hospital officially opened its doors. The first patient was admitted at 9:30am on 21 April, 1958 and the first baby was born in the Maternity Ward on 22 April, 1958. What brought the Sutherland Hospital to life was the conviction of its community, and the tradition continues today with 98 per cent of its patients living in the local Shire.
A large part of the hospital’s success in the years since has been its ability to reinvent itself to keep up with demand. Firstly there was the $20 million building project of 1984, which added a new 30-bed children’s ward, a 30-bed psychiatric ward, new operating theatre suites and a number of new departments including physiotherapy, social work and radiography.
The latest addition of the $82.9 million Clinical Services Building, funded by the NSW Government, opened in December 2003, turning Sutherland Hospital into a world-class 21st century medical facility. The cornerstone of the 2003 work was the demolition of the original Kingsway building, replaced by a sleek, modern low-rise structure.
The volunteering spirit that inspired the hospital’s creation endures, with more than 300 active volunteers currently working in areas of the hospital including patient services, retail outlets, fundraising and general duties.
Sutherland Hospital is a 375-bed major metropolitan hospital and teaching hospital. The Sutherland Hospital campus offers a comprehensive range of inpatient and community services to Sutherland Shire residents, including surgical, medical, emergency, maternity, child, youth and family, critical care, aged care, rehabilitation, mental health and community-based services.
Sutherland Hospital also provides an increasing role in education and provides an opportunity for health and medical researchers to conduct research that will directly service the needs of patients.
From its inception Sutherland Hospital’s motto has been ‘Endeavour to Serve.’
In 1770, Captain James Cook landed at Botany Bay’s Inscription Point in the Sutherland Shire. He and his Endeavour crew stayed in the area for eight days and had a dramatic impact on Australian history.
Located near Silver Beach on the Kurnell Peninsula headland, Cook’s landing place is a popular Sydney attraction. Now heritage-listed, this reserve interprets the story of the meeting of European and Aboriginal cultures.